This Cookie Crumbles
Magic in the Water creates no magic on screen, but it does make viewers hungry for Oreo cookies. The story begins with an adorable 10 year-old eating her favorite cookies while listening to her father, a pop radio psychiatrist, as he offers trite advice to callers. It’s not long before Oreos assume more and more importance in this family film directed by Rick Stevenson and starring Sarah Wayne, Mark Harmon and Joshua Jackson.
Ashley Black (Wayne) and her older brother (Jackson) desperately need to bond with their overly busy father (Harmon) who decides to take them to Glenorky for a vacation. And guess what? This little lakeside town just happens to be noted for glimpses of “Orky,” a sea monster believed to live in the local lake. Mysteriously, Orky causes many changes in the lives of the Black family. For example, Dr. Black (Harmon) starts to pay attention to his children. In the film’s most creative scene, the transformed father is shown playing “cloud games” with his son and daughter. But when Orky suffers a strange illness that even Oreo cookies cannot cure, the Blacks join forces with a lakeside neighbor to save the dying sea creature.
What a disappointment when Orky finally appears during the last part of the film! Because a tremendous arsenal of movie special effects was available in 1995, the release year for Magic in the Water, I can’t help wondering why Orky looks so “dorky” instead of resembling a respectable sea creature. Better not to show him at all than to include such a lame representation.
Although the darling Sarah Wayne delivers a delightful performance here, Magic in the Water will probably appeal only to viewers who crave unsophisticated family entertainment, no matter how hokey it is. (Capsule review)
(Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and rated "PG" for language and moments of peril.)
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